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MILLERSVILLE — Two YAIAA girls' basketball teams crossed the Susquehanna River to open the season and brought back victories from the Penn Manor tip-off tournament.

Central York grabbed a 52-45 win from Lower Dauphin in the first game of the night, and Kennard-Dale won a close one against Penn Manor, 39-36. The sides will meet in the championship game Saturday at Penn Manor High School.

The tournament opener saw Central battle back from an early first-half deficit. Lower Dauphin sped to a 6-0 lead and led for the entire first half, but the play of Nikson Valencik and Emma Saxton helped Central stay within striking distance.

After coming out of halftime down 22-21, Lydia Shellenberger hit Central’s first shot of the second half to give the Panthers a one-point lead, but Lower Dauphin quickly answered with a 3-pointer to regain control. But Valencik and Saxton combined for eight straight points to put the Panthers back in the driver’s seat where they would stay for the rest of the game.

“Both of them have a lot of experience coming back from last year,” Central York head coach Scott Wisner said. “Even though they’re a sophomore and a junior, they played a lot last year. I’m definitely going to be counting on them all year to kind of lead the way, along with Teirra (Preston).

“They did a great job leading us tonight.”

The shift in the game for Central, Wisner said, came as his team’s pressure finally started to get to Lower Dauphin, which started committing some turnovers. The Falcons gave up the ball 20 times, and Central turned it over 16 times.

“I knew (this game) wasn’t going to be easy, but fortunately we were able to show the resolve we needed to at the end to pull it out,” Wisner said.

Meanwhile, Kennard-Dale head coach Josh Clark said his team's 39-36 victory was “a huge win.” is squad was able to grab a lead in the second half after a back-and-forth first. And despite a late-game rally, the Rams held off the Comets for the win.

Clark said he hopes the win and tournament performance can set a tone for the 2015-16 season.

“We certainly looked at this tournament as an opportunity,” he said. “Last year we came out and lost the first game of the year 58-12. It feels a lot better than that and it just shows we’re better than what people might think we are. We’re gonna compete. We’re going to play really hard.”

Central York 52, Lower Dauphin 45  

Central York (52) 

Nikson Valencik 6 5-7 17, Fabbri 0 2-2 2, Stanton 0 0-0 0, Wagner 0 0-1 0, Emma Saxton 7 0-2 17, Williams 0 0-0 0, Sepic 1 0-0 5, Shellenberger 3 0-0 6, Santana 0 0-0 0, Preston 2 1-6 3.Totals — 19 8-18 52

Lower Dauphin (45) 

O’Neill 0 3-4 4, Saad 0 0-0 0, Amber Schweiger 7 0-0 14, Friedrich 1 1-3 3, Means 3 0-0 6, Kirsch 0 0-0 0, Leader 0 0-0 3, Day 0 0-0 0, Abraham 0 1-2 1, Gibbs 2 4-6 8, Malinen 1 2-2 7. Totals — 14 11-17 45.

Central York _ 10 _ 11 _ 16 _ 15 _ — _ 52 

Lower Dauphin _ 14 _ 8 _ 9_ 14 _ — _ 45 

3-point goals — CY 2 (Saxton 1, Sepic 1), LD 2 (Leader 1, Malinen 1).

Kennard-Dale 39, Penn Manor 36 

Kennard-Dale  (39) 

Pilkey 4 1-2 9, Halczuk 2 1-2 5, Kincaid 0 0-0 0, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Locke 0 0-0 0, Pilkey 3 1-2 7, Anderson 1 4-7 9, Boone 0 0-0 0, Martonick 0 0-0 0 Dressel 0 0-0 0, Freese 0 6-9 9. Totals — 10 13-22 39

Penn Manor (36)

Rowe 0 1-2 1, Barley 1 2-2 4, Wissler 1 0-0 2, Stackhouse 0 1-2 1, Wiker 2 0-2 4, Schriver 2 3-5 16, Carroll 0 1-2 1,  Greggs 3 0-0 6, Heisey 0 0-0 0, Levato 0 1-2 1, Cannon 0 0-0 0. Totals — 9 9-17 36.

Kennard-Dale _7 _ 13 _ 12 _ 7 _ — _ 39  

Penn Manor _ 9_13 _ 5_ 9 _ — _ 36  

3-point goals — KD 2 (Anderson 1, Freese 1), PM 3 (Schriver 3).

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